Building a Winning Brand is very much an 8-Step process. We know that when our clients go through the process they get clarity and a perspective that really makes it easy to choose from alternative options. Knowing the Brand in the intimate way we do, after completing the process, makes it easy to then work on your media strategy, creative decision-making or the revisiting of the strategic business plan.
1. Start with the Facts.
Where have you been? Review the past history of the brand, heritage, values, beliefs, roots, etc. Write a summary statement about the past culture of the brand.
2. Create Your Brand Vision/Mission Statement.
Your brand vision identifies your enterprise's purpose for existing beyond solely that of creating profits. It reveals a broader, deeper, "built-to-last" view that enriches the enterprise(s), customer(s), and community.
3. Define Your Brand Personality.
Personality helps your brand come alive. It makes your brand accessible and touchable. It helps differentiate you and gives depth and dimension to your enterprise(s). If it is strategically sound, it has credibility and likeability. Some brands have a personality that leads to charisma - trust that goes from loyalty to advocacy.
4. Establish Your Brand Character.
Brand character is all about the culture of the brand. It is the value system that directs every aspect of the enterprise(s), the principles, attitudes, and characteristics of the company. It is the commitment made to customers, associates, and suppliers.
5. Build the Relationship Between Your Brand and Your Customer.
In thinking of the relationship between your brand and your customer, is it uplifting, empowering, and growing, deep and embedded? Is it lasting, ongoing, building or one-off, passing or fading? Is it trusting, consistent, accessible, responsive, committed, and likable? What is the perception vs. the reality? One measure of relationship is the "badge value" of a brand, such as the Gap and McDonaldâ€™s. It is an important aspect of how your customers want others to perceive them as a result of being a customer of your brand.
6. Define Your Brand Image.
There are two aspects of brand image - how you want to be seen, and how you are seen. The challenge is to direct, shape, and focus how customers see you. Yet, how the customers see is not just what their eyes see, but what they feel. The eyes and brain create a kaleidoscope of impressions: past and present; real and perceived; rational and emotional. Brand image is what is physically in front of customersâ€™ eyes and senses, and what the brain does with that information.
7. Decide How You Want Your Brand Positioned in Your Customersâ€™ Minds.
Marketers can influence how a brand is positioned in the customersâ€™ minds, but itâ€™s your customers who actually position the brand in their minds. Your challenge is to help shape and direct the positioning in a proactive manner. Brand positioning is all about integrated communications advertising, word-of-mouth, publicity, and in-enterprise experiences.
8. Deliver it in all you do.
Being 100% consistent in delivering the brand experience is critical to its long-term success. Every time you change or mix the message to your customers or every time you donâ€™t deliver the promise, you chip away at what you are trying to achieve. And are ultimately proving the brand is not to be trusted.
Make your Brand more than a logo and a slogan. Then youâ€™ll experience the power of Real Branding!
[By Roger Griffin, Associate Partner
FOCUS Business Marketing Intelligence]